The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Piccadilly Theatre)

The award-winning stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel is in its final weeks in the West End, doubtless making plenty of money for the National Theatre, where it originated in 2012.

Sam Newton as Christopher. Photo from the UK tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Sam Newton as Christopher. Photo from the UK tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher Boone (Sam Newton) is a fifteen year old boy on the autism spectrum, a maths genius who finds it hard to function with the chat and metaphors of daily life.

In our glimpse into Christopher’s world, we see and hear how overwhelming everyday activities are to him (act two’s train and tube journey’s are especially evocative).

His father (Stuart Laing) struggles to cope with his clever and challenging child, sometimes overboiling with frustration he instantly regrets. His decision to tell a catastrophic lie leads to the events which close the first half (as sounds, lights, collapsing numbers and falling letters contribute to the boy’s reaction to a shock), and into the adventures of act two.

Newton, adaptor Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott create a powerful and believable depiction of the complexities of autism, with a cohesive balance between the comic perception of everyday statements (“the apple of his eye”) and the pathos of emotional attachments (father, mother, neighbour’s dog. pet rat, new puppy).

Emma Beattie as Judy. Photo credit Brinkhoff/Mogenburg

Emma Beattie as Judy. Photo credit Brinkhoff/Mogenburg

The supporting cast are uniformly good – Emma Beattie as the mother who couldn’t cope stood out, but I must note them all. (Sadly the lack of a programme leads me to struggle a bit to assign names to roles).

Bunny Christie’s set is a box which displays material drawn on the floor and generated text and adverts, and utilises hidden doors and storage space very well, plus an inspired use of the front of the stage as a platform on the London Underground.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photo by Brinkhoff/Mogenburg.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photo by Brinkhoff/Mogenburg.

The technical wizardry on display has rightly gained plaudits but ultimately this is a show with heart, starting with that curious incident of the dog and the garden fork, and ending with a post-curtain call maths equation.

Advertisements

About Louise Penn

Writer, reviewer, editor, creative. Blogger since 2011. View all posts by Louise Penn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

The Book Dragon

Bargain Fantasy Book Reviews and Recommendations

KatieGloria

My thoughts and experiences with mental health, pregnancy and parenthood

Lady Don't Fall Backwards

Orders must be obeyed without question at all times.

monstagigz

Get the most in-demand tickets cheapest

Bipolar-Ilari

bipolar mixed type, ocd, social phobia

%d bloggers like this: